uss nautilus makes “under-the-ice” history
Post on 24-Mar-2017
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COILS FOR CANS are fed into electrolytic tinning line at speed of up to 1,250 feet per minute. The new facility is the third built by Columbia-Geneva Division at U.S. Steel's Pittsburg Works. Current can be adjusted during line operation.
size tin cans. Pittsburg Works is a large producer of tin plate in the West. Output of the plant's two older electrolytic tinning lines has been a major factor in meeting increasing western requirements for packaging foods, beverages, and other products.
T h e new installation is equipped with automatic closed-loop feedback controi systems to regulate and synchronize most of the line functions. Included are modulated loop controls, both magnetic and photoelectric, and regulators governing speed, edge position, tension, temperature, and plating current. All of the regulators are synchronized to the speed of the moving steel.
T h e line employs pin-hole detectors, radiation gauges for measuring steel and coating thickness, flow-line indicators, reflectivity devices for surface inspection, and sheet-classifying equipment. An important factor in the quality control system is a series of memory devices. These automatically cause the cut pieces of tin plate to be placed in separate piles according to quality.
T h e control devices can operate with the ribbons of steel racing through the
NERVE CENTER for control system are these stainless steel panels on the third electrolytic tinning line at U.S. Steel's Columbia-Geneva Division Pittsburg Works. They flank the cleaning and coating tanks on the operating level. Operator is adjusting current.
l ine at speeds u p to 1,250 feet a minute . They provide a maximum degree of accuracy in quality control through a constant close measurement of the thickness of both the steel and the tin coating. T h e y assure uniformity of finish, accurate classification, and exactness in counting and pil ing.
Other innovations on the third electrolytic installation at Pittsburg include the use of germanium rectifiers for cleaning and plating the steel, a fire detection system employing heat sensitive cable, and rectifier switching for varying plating capacity.
T h e "main floor" of the new Pittsburg t inning l ine is actually at mezzanine level, some 15 feet above the mill floor level. Designed to facilitate maintenance of the large amount of machinery built into the line below main-floor level, it eliminates the older electrolytic tinning lines maintenance problems, where much of the lower level machinery was located in less accessible basement areas.
Color coding provides greater safety, easy identification of specific kinds of equipment, contrast between moving parts and stationary machinery, and control of light for greater eye comfort. As insurance against error by a color-blind person, all vital valves and switches are marked with readable tags.
Most of the steel used for tin plate production at Pittsburg comes from the Columbia-Geneva plant at Geneva, Utah, in the form of hot-rolled steel coils.
In the initial operation at Pittsburg the steel is processed through one of two continuous pickling lines, where acid treatment removes the hard scale formed in hot rolling at Geneva.
At the entry end of the new electrolytic t inning line, the coils are placed on one of two uncoilers. Whi le one coil is being run through the line, another is placed in position on a second uncoiler, ready to be welded to the tail end of the running coil. T o allow the line to continue running while the entry end stops for several seconds to permit welding of the next coil to the end of the coil in process, some 250 feet of uncoiled steel is accumulated in two 80-foot looping pits, 60 feet extending below the floor level and 20 feet extending above the floor.
T h e steel passes into electrolytic cleaning tanks after which it is scrubbed with brushes and spray rinsed. It then passes through acid pickling tanks to prepare the surface for plating. T h e actual coating of the steel with tin takes place as the steel is passed at high speed through a series of electrolytic plating tanks. It carries a low-voltage charge of direct-cur-renj: electricity as it passes around conductor rolls moving from tank to tank. Bars of tin measuring 6 feet long and 2 by 3 inches thick are hung vertically in the tanks. As the steel passes between the rows of tin bars immersed in an acid electrolyte, the electric current draws the tin from the bars and deposits it on the surface of the steel.
T h e new Pittsburg facility has a plating capacity of approximately 100,000 amperes. Precise controls regulate the amperes in proportion to the l ine speed to give the desired amount of tin coating. A unique arrangement of electrical controls permits plating a heavier coating on one side of the steel than the other, as is required by some uses. Th i s so-called "differential coating" provides a heavier coating for the inside of cans when increased resistance against corrosion is necessary.
After the melt ing process, the coated steel is treated chemically to preserve its bright appearance and to provide a thin, dense oxide coating. Sprays remove any excess acid, and a thin film of lubricant is applied.
T h e finished tin plate from the new P-'ttsburg l ine is shipped to can manufacturers either in cut sheets or in coil form. An innovation on the l ine is an extra uncoiling mandrel which will permit the shearing of coils previously made while other coils of tin plate are being produced. Shipment of electrolytic tin plate in coil form is a relatively new development in the industry.
T h e end use of most tin plate is the familiar tin can on the grocery shelf, which is actually more than 99 per cent steel and less than one per cent tin.
USS Nautilus Makes "Under-the-Ice" History
T h e recent epoch-making "under the ice pack" transpolar trip of the U. S. Navy's Nautilus drew high commendation from Government and civilian sources on behalf of the officers and crew of the submarine as well as the industries whose equipment contributed to the success of the venture.
"For the trip we were equipped with the most modern navigational equipment in the Fleet," commented Comdr. W. R. Anderson, commanding officer of the Nautilus, who was awarded the Legion of Merit for the expedit ion. Included among the navigational aids were gyrocompasses, automatic depth and course-keeping controls, a celestial altitude recorder, and an aircraft-type C-ll Gyrosyn compass system especially designed for use in polar regions, all developed by Sperry Gyroscope Company, Division of Sperry Rand Corporation, Great Neck, N.Y.
T h e submarine's automatic depth and course-keeping controls may be compared roughly to the automatic pilots used on aircraft, enabling a "planesman" to make ultrafine adjustments in steering direction. T h e l ightweight compass system employs a technique which cuts random non-floated gyro drift 90%. These gyros, which the company calls "Rotorace" (Electrical Engineering, May 1958, pp. 471-72) are of particular importance in upper latitude explorations.
In a telegram to Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pa., Comdr. Anderson praised the performance of the nuclear engine designed and developed for the Nautilus by that company's Bettis Atomic Power Division, working under
988 Of Current Interest ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING
the direction of and in technical co-operation with the Naval Reactors Branch of the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission. Representative James Fulton of Pennsylvania, in a congratulatory message sent to Westinghouse, commented "As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and of the new Select Committee for Exploration in Astronautics and Space I am strongly recommending . . . to Dr. James R. Killian, the President's Scientific Advisor as well as to the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense that the Westinghouse atomic and nuclear team be kept intact and its fine accomplishments be broadened into research and development on nuclear engines and power for space vehicles and intercontinental ballistic missiles."
"Hot" or "Cold" Shoot Used in Acceleration Test
From a dead stop, the Lockheed X-7 missile surges forward at an acceleration that would crush a body under two tons of weight, hits top speed, then slams to a stop equivalent to a 60 mph head-on crash into a solid brick wall. All this in only 0.04 of a secondand a scant 2 feet of travel distance. Thi s is the kind of punishment modern missiles, with their delicate and precision parts, must withstand if they are to perform properly.
T h e "G-Shooter," a special device developed by the Lockheed Missile Systems Division's engineers, puts the missiles through a rugged ground test of electronic equipment and systems before launch high into the upper atmosphere to flight-prove new and giant ramjet engines.
T o conduct the test, the X-7 is mounted on the rails of the G-Shooter which blasts the bird to an 18 g acceleration18 times the force of gravityto simulate the fantastic drive when the missile is rocketed to a sudden faster-than-sound speed seconds after launch. T h e test gives Lockheed engineers a realistic look at how the many instruments and electronic systems in the missile will stand the tremendous shock of the rocket boost needed to bring the X-7 to a speed where its ramjet engine takes over.
Set for a test run, the X-7 rests on the G-Shooter's rails while a pressure of 2,100 pounds per square inch (psi) is built up in a cylinder containing a piston.
T h e pressure is released with a deafening roar, and the piston flashes forward, pushing the missile at breakneck speed down the steel ribbons.
Eight bands of nylon w